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The zEnterprise EC12 Raises Enterprise Security While Boosting Analytics and Cloud Performance


Illustration by Peter Crowther

Consolidating Improvements

Security aside, the zEC12 has some significant hardware improvements that can help users reduce their data center footprint and energy use as well as boost productivity. The system is powered by 120 5.5 GHz core processors, 101 of which are client-configurable. By comparison, the previous version, the zEnterprise 196, features 5.2 GHz processors, 80 of which are client-configurable. And the number of cores per chip has increased by 50 percent—from four to six—providing up to 50 percent more total capacity in the same hardware footprint. That means IT can theoretically consolidate thousands of physical servers into a single mainframe, instantly reducing hardware, software and energy costs. Organizations can manage upwards of 100,000 virtual servers on a single instance of zEC12, according to IBM.

"You can't mess with System z."
— Anne Lescher Worldwide Security Marketing for IBM mainframes

The processors have also been optimized for better performance, so they are capable of executing more than 78,000 million instructions per second. For instance, the 101 client-configurable cores allow IT to choose the right mix of cores to fit its processing requirements. The processor cores can be characterized as general-purpose central processors, Integrated Facility for Linux*, System z Application Assist Processors, System z Integrated Information Processors or Internal Coupling Facilities. These cores can also be defined as additional System Assist Processors if IT needs to support especially heavy data traffic. And, like previous versions, accelerators for data compression and cryptography are right on the processor chip.

Virtualization on System z helps reduce costs of software licensing, simplify administration, and improve uptime. It also helps reduce energy use and an organization’s carbon footprint. A new, integrated radiator-based air-cooling system and an optional water-cooling system lets IT cool the system with user-chilled water. Combined, these features reduce air-conditioning costs, providing about 9 percent additional data center energy savings. An optional high-voltage DC power setup, which can eliminate the need for a universal power supply inverter and power distribution unit, will also help organizations reduce overall energy costs, as does a static power savings mode that allows IT to turn off unused engines.



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